This is a 3-part series on the dominant paradigm in coaching, how Soul-based Coaching opens up possibilities to divorce from that paradigm, and why that is vital for all of us.
In part 1, we dove into the paradigm that we all live inside of – and that lives inside all of us. It has been shaped by patriarchal capitalism, colonialism and institutionalised racism.
In short, we can say its mantra is:
‘We take what we want, because we can’ – regardless of the collective whole and the consequences for all future generations & our planet.
As this mantra has been drilled into us for over 500 years, it is hard to recognise, and hard to break out of.
We are only just starting that journey, collectively.
And no surprise, the old paradigm in coaching is, subconsciously, driven by the same capitalist and colonial mindset.
Take what you can (from your body, mind and soul), because you can.
In fact, you should.
Otherwise you ‘fail’ and are not as worthy as others who ‘succeed’.
These dynamics are baked into our collective beliefs, ideas, feelings, bodies – but also in conventional coaching tools.
Coaching as a profession has started with top sports, helping professional athletes to squeeze every last drop of performance from their bodies.
Next up, executive coaches moved on into boardrooms, where its goal was to squeeze every last drop of performance out of companies or the directors themselves.
Profit was what mattered most.
All of these are still hallmarks of success today. Often, coaching is still geared towards getting people to succeed.
But now it is focussed on how to get the most from any client’s body & mind.
With the coach using models of success that have worked for others, to help their client speed up their journey.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning from one another. There is a lot that we can gain that way.
Our current patriarchal capitalist paradigm is interested in uniformity, in creating replicas that are easier to predict and control.
What if our shortcuts actually get in the way of our full expression and our unique gifts?
What if it’s not so easy to replicate what others have in your own life? Does that make you, or a client, wrong?
If your clients are not having amazing success every time, does that mean you fall short? Should you doubt yourself?
Or are these things the logical outcomes of that paradigm that thrives on separation, hierarchy and division?
The models that are used by coaches are rooted in the principles of trying to control life, of weeding out what is different, in overriding our emotions, making wrong what is not the same.
They analyse with the intent to simplify and cut back on complexity
(when actually life is complex and we need exactly the right level of complexity to deal with any situation).
And they tend to measure success in a very one-dimensional way.
Because the more you earn, the more importance you have, the more access to power you have, the more security you will find.
What if human beings are so much more than that?
Here is a practice to explore how this shows up in your life:
Take some time to let these questions drop deep inside of you. What shows up?
- What is success to you?
- What is it that you expect your clients to work towards?
- What should they be willing to sacrifice and do?
- Where do (fear of) failure and self-doubt show up?
- What is enough?
- What makes you worthy?
Now, I am nowhere near ‘free’ of this dominant culture.
I have started my journey of acknowledging that this is the water I swim in, and it’s a slow process to try and untangle myself.
But what is really exciting, is that I keep seeing that the tools and skills that we develop in Soul-based Coaching, give our clients the opportunity to dive underneath the old-style programming.
We give them a chance to tap into their deepest soul knowing, so that they can heal and make changes that are supported by this most intimate part of them that belongs to the realm outside of space and time, and therefore outside of paradigms.
It’s exciting, because this is where our better future can come from, helping each other tap into the wisdom that lives inside of us.
And it’s exciting, because our clients get to heal and thrive step by step.
So it’s time to look at how coaching can support regenerative change.
Change that helps us regenerate ourselves, our bodies and minds.
That helps us regenerate our relationships and communities.
So in part 3, I will share the regenerative underpinnings of Soul-based Coaching, and how they change:
- the rules of the game,
- the role of the coach,
- AND what can happen for clients.